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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Vive La France!

posted by on September 9 at 8:50 AM


De Reuters:

A French judge has ordered two departments and seven prominent members of the Church of Scientology in France to stand trial on charges of organized fraud. The case is the latest in a series of legal battles that have pitted the French judicial system against the Scientologists, who could be forced to stop their activities in France if found guilty.

The latest suit centers on a complaint made in 1998 by a woman who said she was enrolled into the Church of Scientology by a group of people she met outside a metro station. In the following months, she said she paid 140,000 francs (21,340 euros) for “purification packs” and books which she said were a fraud. Other complaints then surfaced, prolonging the investigation.

Judge Jean-Christophe Hullin ruled that the Scientologists’ Celebrity Center, bookstore and seven Church leaders should be tried for fraud and “illegally practicing as pharmacists.”

This isn’t the Hubbardites’ first problem in France:

The Church of Scientology has faced numerous setbacks in France, with members convicted of fraud in Lyon in 1997 and Marseille in 1999. In 2002, a court fined it for violating privacy laws and said it could be dissolved if involved in similar cases.

Hourra! Le séjour s’est accordé…

RSS icon Comments


That's "Vive la France." It's feminine.

Posted by Irena | September 9, 2008 8:54 AM

Dang, I'm an international sexist. Thanks, fixed.

Posted by David Schmader | September 9, 2008 8:57 AM

What is 140,000 francs (or 21,340 euros) in U.S. dollars?

Posted by Smarm | September 9, 2008 9:00 AM

Now if the French High Court could overturn their early 2007 ruling that marriage has to be between a man and a woman...

Posted by mackro mackro | September 9, 2008 9:00 AM

You can cut and paste but you can't google exchange rates, Smarm?

Posted by Dee in SF | September 9, 2008 9:05 AM

In 1998, 140,000 francs was over $22,000. Today, 21,340 euros is more than $30,000.

Posted by Fnarf | September 9, 2008 9:24 AM

Still waiting for a Paul C. SLOG on the "golden age stories" set of books by L. Ron being heavily promoted on metro buses.

Posted by Anon | September 9, 2008 9:24 AM

Despite being an atheist and a hater of Scientology, I still find it kind of appalling that France can "dissolve" a religion.

Posted by Brandon J. | September 9, 2008 9:46 AM

Le Sulk, c'est moi!

Et non, je ne veux pas le laisser faire.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | September 9, 2008 9:50 AM

It's not a fucking religion. It's a commercial enterprise. Religions WANT to spread their texts; they don't prosecute people who reveal what's in them.

Posted by Fnarf | September 9, 2008 10:06 AM

@8: Scientology is as much a religion as Msr. Boyardee is a chef.

Posted by Greg | September 9, 2008 10:07 AM

Scientologists just need to learn. You don't require anyone to buy your stuff; you just tell them that God, or Xenu, requires them to put X percent of their income into the collection plate. It's not that hard, guys. Real religions have been doing this for millennia. Get with the program.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 9, 2008 10:36 AM

Fnarf @ 10: So was the pre-reformation catholic church not a religion?

It's fine with me if they prosecute the scientologists for fraud. So long as the prosecute established churches, too.

Posted by David Wright | September 9, 2008 11:12 AM

Manger Mon Tom Cruise de Short

Posted by JJ | September 9, 2008 12:29 PM

Wright @13: your point might make a teeny bit of sense if this was a thousand years ago. Applying 21st-century legal standards to the distant past isn't really a solid argument for anything. And in case you missed it, the dispute during the Reformation featured some pretty intense "prosecutions" -- look up the St. Bartholomew's Eve Massacre. Things have changed just a bit since then.

Nowadays, anyone wanting to know what Catholics believe, or Protestants of any kind, or any other religion, can find every word of their scriptures freely available in a million places. There are many organizations that will mail you a bible of your choice absolutely free of charge. There's one in almost every hotel room in the world. They WANT you to have one, and to read it, and to spread the contents. Only Scientology markets their materials as a lucrative profit center.

So: your argument = failo.

Posted by Fnarf | September 9, 2008 12:46 PM

@15: And "failo" rhymes with "Bailo." Just sayin'...

Posted by J.R. | September 9, 2008 1:40 PM

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